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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-01-29
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.19/03 29.01.03
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Mr Alvaro de Soto met with the Turkish Prime Minister. He says revision of the Annan plan possibleAnkara Anatolia news agency (28.01.03) reported from Ankara that the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan`s Special Adviser for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto arrived in Ankara on Tuesday.
Mr de Soto made a statement at Esenboga Airport and said that they did not disregard the possibility of revision of the Annan Plan, however a concrete decision had not been taken yet about the issue.
Noting that if the two sides in Cyprus approved the revision, the plan could be revised, de Soto said that steps for the determination of the flag and the national anthem for a common state after a possible agreement in Cyprus should not be considered as a sign for solution.
He added that the decision on the flag and the national anthem was only a part of the things that should be done.
Noting that he saw willingness in Turkey for the solution of the problem in his last visit to Ankara, de Soto said that he hoped that the Turkish side preserved that willingness.
In the afternoon, Mr Alvaro de Soto held contacts at the Foreign Ministry. He first met with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis, who came to the Prime Ministry to participate in a meeting about Cyprus, pointed out that de Soto listened to Ankara about the Cyprus issue.
Yakis said: ``I hope he did not take all this information only to keep them in the file. I guess a new plan will be formed.``
Moreover Istanbul NTV television (28.01.03) broadcast the following statement made by Mr Alvaro de Soto after his meeting with Prime Minister Abdullah Gull in Ankara.
"I had a very useful meeting with the prime minister and we talked about the plan presented by the Secretary-General to the Turkish and the Greek Cypriots on the settlement of the old problem. And, we talked about the urgency of finding a settlement in the coming weeks. I am very happy to report that I received encouragement from the prime minister to come to a solution and that Turkey wants to reach a solution. I hope that in the coming weeks something will come out."
 Mr Denktas wants a significant number of changes to the Annan PlanIllegal Bayrak Radio (28.01.03) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas met with various delegations, during which he made statements.
He alleged that "he is waging a struggle so that the Turkish Cypriots do not become slaves of the Greek Cypriots, second class citizens, and so that Turkey's status of guarantor state is not diluted." Denktas further alleged that the "Greek Cypriots accepted, after long years of struggle, the exchange of population and bizonality."
Denktas continued: "The contacts with Clerides have been continuing for five to eight years. I do not believe that Clerides will say `yes/ to an agreement because they already have what they want. It is not as though they got what they want now or in Copenhagen. The need to secure a new partnership agreement with us has been eliminated once the Americans and the British told the Greek Cypriots that they are the legitimate government." Explaining that the Turkish Cypriots are experiencing difficult days, Denktas added: "Euros will not be falling out of the sky once an agreement is reached. We have requested the universities to undertake a study on the impact of a possible agreement on the economy."
Mr Denktas also said that some circles are trying to mislead the Turkish Cypriots by claiming that there are serious differences of opinion between Turkey and the puppet regime. "In fact, both military and political officials pay visits to Turkey. They give the message that there are no differences between Turkey and the `TRNC/. Both Turkey and the `TRNC/ defend the same rights," he said.
Commenting on the negotiation process, Denktas said that the Turkish Cypriots are trying hard to secure a result from the talks, adding that a lasting and sound agreement being is sought.
Denktas continued by noting that he will convey the changes the Turkish Cypriots want to be made in the UN plan to Alvaro de Soto, and added: "The path will be paved if a significant number of these changes are accepted. If these changes are rejected, it will not be us who will be posing obstacles on the path. We will not give up our rights."
Referring to the map included in the Annan plan, Mr Denktas said: "Forget about the map. Neither we nor Turkey nor the army accept this map".
Furthermore, he alleged that according to recent public opinion polls, 81 % of the inhabitants of the occupied areas oppose the return of the Greek Cypriot refugees to their homes and do not want to live together with the Greek Cypriots. 70 % of the Turkish Cypriots, added Mr Denktas, want the Annan plan to be discussed in-depth and the principles set forward by the Turkish side to be protected.
"I have some principles to defend and I am trying to defend them", he continued and concluded: "Let the parliament in Turkey and the parliament here tell me 'abandon these principles'. Then they will find someone else and make him to sign".
 Ferdi Sabit Soyer and Mustafa Akinci accuse the Turkish side of trying to dynamite the Cyprus talks procedure and to promote annexation with TurkeyKIBRIS (29.01.03) reports that Ferdi Sabit Soyer, General Secretary and so-called MP of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), said yesterday that the Turkish side is trying to dynamite the Cyprus talks with its behaviour and promote the policy of annexing the occupied areas to Turkey.
Mr Soyer was speaking yesterday at the session of the so-called assembly of the puppet regime, which approved two protocols signed last year providing for cooperation with Turkey in the fields of the coastal security and internal affairs and justice. The protocols were approved with the votes of the so-called "MPs" of the Democratic Party (DP) and the National Unity Party (NUP).
Referring to the so-called draft-law and the agreement cooperation between Turkey and the regime in occupied Cyprus in the field of justice and internal affairs, Mr Soyer noted that "it has been prepared with an integration spirit and has been brought onto the agenda during a period when the negotiations continue aiming at bringing the government of Turkey before a fait accompli and dynamite the negotiations procedure".
Reminding that the agreement had been signed with the former government of Turkey on 30 September 2002, Mr Soyer described it as an act "having hidden intentions".
Mr Soyer pointed out that if they say clearly that they would annex northern Cyprus to Turkey then the above-mentioned "draft law" could be accepted. Mr Soyer added that the 9th article of the agreement means the full dissolution of the so-called "TRNC".
Meanwhile, referring to the same issue, Mustafa Akinci, former chairman and so-called "MP" of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), said that this agreement is a continuation of the policy applied by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, and supported that in the agreement there is the mentality of a country which does not step on its own feet and it is depended on Turkey. There is also the mentality of the continuing the non-solution in Cyprus, he added.
Mr Akinci noted that if DP and NUP wanted a solution, then they would not approve the agreement.
 The Turkish General left occupied Cyprus assuring for support to Denktas and the occupation regimeAnkara Anatolia news agency (28.01.03) reported from occupied Nicosia that Land Forces Commander General Aytac Yalman departed from the occupied areas on Tuesday after wrapping up his contacts.
Addressing journalists at the occupied Lefkoniko Airport prior to his departure, General Yalman said, ``I paid a visit to the Turkish Peace Forces Command. I want to thank all officials for their disciplined works.``
Recalling that he had held a series of contacts with Rauf Denktas and other Turkish Cypriot "officials", General Yalman said: ``During the contacts, I expressed our determination to support the TRNC.``
Meanwhile, the puppet regime/s so-called Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu said that they were pleased with General Yalman`s visit.
``The solution plan, which was presented to the sides by United Nations Secretary- General Kofi Annan has created uneasiness in our society. However, the messages of General Yalman have relieved us,`` he added.
 Reference to Cyprus by Erdogan during a speech to the JDP groupAnkara Anatolia news agency (28.01.03) reported from Ankara that the Justice and Development Party (JDP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the Cyprus issue was a national cause, stating that the Cyprus cause cannot be decreased to the level of individuals.
Erdogan, speaking at JDP Group meeting, referred to his contacts in Davos and the Cyprus issue.
Stating that the Cyprus issue was a national cause, Erdogan said giving up this cause was out of the question and that the Annan Plan has aspects which can be accepted or cannot be accepted.
Claiming that there were those who wanted to bring the JDP into polemics regarding Cyprus, Erdogan said his party would not enter into polemics.
Erdogan said: ``We will sit at negotiation table, look for ways of compromise, but both sides should take steps``.
 Erdogan was interviewed by Murat Akgun on NTVIstanbul NTV television (28.01.03) broadcast that the Justice and Development Party, (JDP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan participated in a live program and answered the questions of NTV's Ankara representative Murat Akgun on Iraq, Cyprus and the economy.
Noting that as time passes the problems regarding Iraq intensify, Erdogan said: "There are reactions throughout the world. Reactions are also being displayed in our country. The report is not very enlightening. Neither is it very clear. We believe that there is still hope for peace. Being a great power, the United States should make efforts to resolve this problem through peaceful means. Saddam, in turn, should comply with the UN resolutions. This will make things easier. It is possible to resolve the problem in this manner."
Akgun asked: "Will you or the government continue to take initiatives? Do you plan a visit to Baghdad?" In answer, Erdogan said: "I personally do not plan a visit to Baghdad. Currently, most of the diplomatic activities are conducted by phone. We want to see the positions that will be adopted following the announcement of the report. President Bush will give a speech this evening. Visits will be conducted and statements will be issued. This week is of utmost importance in terms of our assessments. It is important that the decision will constitute a coalition decision."
In answer to a question on a possible peaceful solution, Erdogan said the following:
"Certain issues remain in the dark. There are certain secrets. During our meeting with Powell we expressed our views very clearly. We had a certain experience in 1991. Iraq is our neighbor. The damages we suffered in 1991 make it difficult for us to reach a decision. We have to be very cautious. This is why it is difficult for us to reach a decision.
This week's developments are of utmost importance, Bush's statement and the decision that will be reached during the NSC [National Security Council] meeting will enable us to assess the situation. Our party organs will also hold meetings. Later, we will draw a roadmap.
We are in favor of peace. This is our party's view. We want this problem to be resolved through peaceful means. When we look at the future, however, we see that we have to reach a decision. We are members of the TGNA [Turkish Grand National Assembly]. We should check whether or not the United Nations' decision binds Turkey. The TGNA will make the final decision. Everything is being done within the framework of a democratic parliamentarian system. We will comply with the decision. The issues should be clarified and later, we will take the issue to the TGNA. We cannot take the issue to the TGNA, if it is not clarified. The government, in turn, will make its decision in line with the TGNA's decision."
Noting that they want to have good relations with the United States, Erdogan said: "We have a long-lasting friendship. We suffered damages in 1991. They did not fulfill their promises. They also believe that we are right. The fact that they did not fulfill their promises constitutes one of the reasons behind the current economic crisis. This has also contributed to the wake of terrorism."
In answer to a question on the allegations to the effect that the United States held meetings with the PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan], Erdogan said: "The ambassador denied all these allegations. It would not be appropriate for me to make additional comments on this issue."
Noting that if something happens at the Turkish border -- in other words, if a war breaks -- the Turkish Army will take all the necessary measures, Erdogan said the following: "All the necessary measures will be taken. Turkey will carry out the requirements of international law. We are in favor of Iraq's territorial integrity. We do not want the Iraqi people to suffer. The natural resources in Iraq belong to the Iraqi people. The Iraqi Administration, in turn, should comply with the UN resolutions."
In answer to a question on the post-Saddam period, Tayyip Erdogan said the following: "We do not want to re-experience in Iraq what we experienced in Afghanistan. Turkey should participate in the decision making process. Turkey was left out of the decision making process in Afghanistan. The decision making process is of utmost importance. It is necessary to finalize this process in a way that serves the interests of the Iraqi people."
Akgun asked: "The United States has deployed a great number of troops. Is it merely targeting Iraq or will it also attack other countries?" In answer, Erdogan said: "I do not want to comment on these issues. Turkey has three very important problems. Unemployment and the economy constitute the primary problem. Turkey is also dealing with the Iraqi and the Cyprus problems. A government that was established only two months ago is dealing with such major problems."
On the Cyprus issue, stating that he does not have any personal problems with Denktas, Erdogan continued as follows:
"We are not pursuing policies that are directly linked to a single individual. We are trying to find ways to resolve the Cyprus issue. If Denktas had talked to us directly, rather than issuing statements through the media, he would have seen that he is mistaken. Our statement did not target Denktas personally. We merely noted that the sides should make further efforts to resolve the problem. We did not tell him to sign the Annan plan. We merely stated that this plan is negotiable. The Annan plan is not a sine qua non plan. This is what I have been saying from the very beginning. Turkey's understanding is based on solution and keeping alive. Turkey does not intend to get rid of Cyprus. We should not link this issue to a single individual. Will Turkey not have a Cyprus policy? Are we obliged to adopt the views that were adopted 40 years ago? Are we not allowed to have different views? This policy should be based on 'solution and keeping alive.'"
Noting that the problems will continue to exist if the Greek Cypriot side does not make efforts to resolve the problem, Erdogan said: "If the Greek Cypriot Administration does not make efforts for the solution of the problem, we cannot resolve it. A proposal was submitted. Denktas informed the other side on his views. These views will either be accepted or rejected. If they do not intend to resolve the problem, the problem will continue to exist. This is what we are saying. We do not want the `TRNC/ to give up its sovereignty rights. We are trying to find an ideal solution. In this regard, there is no doubt that a solution that ignores the interests of the `TRNC/ is unacceptable."
Recalling that it was Denktas who initially talked about the '29 percent plus' formula, Erdogan said: "We should not forget that this is a negotiation. We might or might not achieve results. What is important is to find a solution that serves the interests of the `TRNC/. We do not aim to surrender. Let us be ready to make mutual sacrifices. Let us not run away from the negotiation table. There are reports to the effect that Annan has prepared a new plan. I have no information in this regard. We held negotiations on the old plan and we will hold negotiations on the new plan. What do they mean by equality? There are issues that should be negotiated. Turkey will never give up its guarantor status. A partnership that is based on equal sovereignty rights should be established. This is of utmost importance. We only want them to reach an agreement. Denktas should undersign this agreement. After all, he has made great efforts for this. From our standpoint this does not constitute a problem. I believe, however, such an experienced politician should not have adopted such a stand."
Stating that he will visit Cyprus when he has an opportunity, Erdogan noted that during his visit he intends to hold meetings with all the politicians in Cyprus.
Explaining that confidence has been established in terms of the economy in Turkey, Erdogan said: "We held meeting with the representatives of leading companies in Davos. We held a very productive meeting with Anne Krueger, IMF first deputy managing director. We told her that we have certain objections related to the social dimension of the agreement. She noted that it is possible to resolve these issues through negotiations." Stating that efforts are being made to pay the interests in February and March, Erdogan said: "Let us pay it together with the principle amount and let us get this over with. We want to pay the bonuses prior to the holidays. There is the nut issue. There are liabilities related to tea production. There are debts to be paid. There are debts to be paid during the holidays. These payments will be made prior to the holidays. Furthermore, tobacco producers will be paid TL100 million each in a single payment."
Finally, noting that the authorized organs will reach a decision on his candidacy, Erdogan said: "I can become a candidate if someone is removed from the list. If the people of Siirt elect me, I can become a deputy."
 Three members of the pseudoassembly to visit Bulgaria after invitationKIBRIS (29.01.03) reports that three "members" of the so-called "parliament" of the pseudostate will visit Bulgaria on the 14-15 of February 2003, after an invitation sent by the Movement for the Rights and Freedoms of Bulgaria. The members of the "parliament" that will go to Bulgaria are: The so-called speaker of the pseudoassembly, Vehbi Zeki Serter, Huseyin S. Serdaroglu from the National Unity Party (NUP) and Tahsin Mertekci, from the Communal Liberation Party (CLP).
 Deniz Baykal criticizes Erdogan over CyprusTurkish Daily News (29.01.03) reports that opposition Republican People's Party (RPP) leader Deniz Baykal on Tuesday strongly criticized Turkey's position in the Iraqi crisis and ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his recent dispute with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.
The RPP leader noted that Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas is forced to defend the Cyprus issue against the Turkish government and added that there have been only rare examples of such bitter scenes in political history.
Baykal stated that JDP leader Erdogan has been criticizing Denktas since December and said that he is still trying to understand the reasons for this behaviour.
Baykal noted that Erdogan recently included Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides in the list of the guilty when he remarked, "A solution in Cyprus is possible with neither Denktas nor Clerides." "Previously, he was only blaming Denktas. Recently, he started accusing Clerides. What does it matter to you? Neither Simitis nor Papandreau are blaming Clerides. Why are you doing it? Is it your mission? Clerides is doing fine because he has the backing of Simitis," Baykal said.
Baykal noted that Erdogan is not an observer of a third country or a media commentator.
"What is your goal? What is your mission? What are you trying to do?" Baykal asked the JDP leader.
Baykal claimed that JDP is still unaware of the fact that it is the ruling party of Turkey. He added that concepts such as national identity and national pride have been forgotten.
 Government ponders policy on Cyprus as verbal duel persistsUnder the above title, Turkish Daily News (29.01.03) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul met behind closed doors with Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis, just back from a trip to northern Cyprus, and top executives of the Foreign Ministry to review the latest developments on Cyprus, while a senior United Nations envoy was visiting Ankara and ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan was continuing his verbal duel with Rauf Denktas.
Gul, who has been stressing that Turkey has changed its Cyprus policy, no longer considered preservation of the status quo but wanted a settlement on the island by the end of February, did not make any statement after the meeting with Yakis, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal and Cyprus Desk Director Erugrul Apakan.
Ziyal and Apakan, moments after the meeting with Gul ended, hosted at the Foreign Ministry Alvaro de Soto, the Cyprus special envoy of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
De Soto, diplomatic sources said, briefed Ziyal and Apakan on the latest situation at the Cyprus talks and exchanged opinions on the changes the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders wanted to see in a U.N. blueprint for a comprehensive settlement on the eastern Mediterranean island.
The U.N. envoy will be meeting with Prime Minister Gul and JDP leader Erdogan today before leaving the Turkish capital.
Erdogan, on the other hand, told a closed-door meeting of the parliamentary group of his ruling JDP that he wanted to see a settlement on the island by the end of February but a settlement could not be achieved with the efforts of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side only.
Erdogan reportedly stressed that the U.N. and all other parties interested in a settlement on Cyprus must encourage Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides to show more flexibility and understand the concerns of the Turkish Cypriot side.
The JDP leader, meanwhile, took the opportunity to continue the verbal duel between himself and Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas.
Erdogan reportedly underlined that he was not convinced whether Denktas had the will to bring about a Cyprus settlement and reiterated that had the Turkish Cypriot leader and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Clerides managed to brush aside their prejudices and conduct the talks with a determination to resolve the Cyprus problem, they would have achieved a settlement on the island decades ago.
Reiterating that his party wanted a settlement on Cyprus by the end of February, as was demanded by Annan and endorsed by the European Union in December in inviting the island to join it, Erdogan reportedly ruled out an accusation by Denktas that there was a drift from the "national cause" on Cyprus.
The JDP leader reportedly stressed that he was loyal to the national Cyprus cause as much as Denktas and accused the Turkish Cypriot leader of blackmailing Ankara with his remark that if forced to sign a deal that he did not want he would quit.
"A person involved in politics so long and who has played such an important role cannot have the luxury of making such statements," Erdogan reportedly said.
The JDP leader also claimed that there were efforts to pull himself and the ruling party into a polemic over Cyprus but such efforts were doomed to fail.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 SABAH columnist assesses the visit to occupied Cyprus by a Turkish general and its repercussions on Turkish domestic political stabilityIstanbul SABAH newspaper (28.01.03) publishes the following commentary by Omer Lutfi Mete under the title: "Erdogan causes his Party's grass roots to get closer to the military's stand":
"The remarks made by Army Commander General Aytac Yalman yesterday while expressing his support for Rauf Denktas revealed a new aspect, which, I am afraid, is the precursor of a troublesome process.
I was alarmed by a single sentence in his comments.
"The Turkish Armed Forces admire you," Yalman told Denktas.
No mortal other than Ataturk was praised by the Army in such a manner. Their admiration for Denktas was emphasized at a time when the military's affection even for late President Inonu, who was also a prominent military figure, had already eroded.
One could ask whether the admiration expressed by the Armed Forces, which have a poor record as they staged three military coups in the past, deserve to be regarded as very significant?
You may think that it is not so important. Nevertheless, those remarks actually signified an ultimatum.
Unfortunately, I must use the word "ultimatum."
Should Justice and Development Party (JDP) Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan insist on finding a solution to the Cyprus issue excluding Denktas, it could set the stage for a process posing a threat to domestic political stability.
I simply cannot understand why the JDP leader takes this risk. As a person who has drawn attention to the "passionate attacks" targeting him, I could have easily concluded that Erdogan is one of the "White Turks" who share hostile feelings towards Denktas. This, however, would not suffice to explain the motive behind his "gamble."
Could it be that Erdogan believes that he is powerful enough to overcome some deep-seated "national postures"?
Subtitle: Hanging by a thread
In my view, the JDP leader and his advisors have made a grave miscalculation.
Their efforts aimed at changing the system, which they call "status quo," are supported by a very weak ground.
1. The White Turks who are making empty promises for change;
2. Anticipated support to be lent by international circles to the efforts designed to prevent the military from having the last word;
3. Erdogan's high popularity among his party's grass roots.
All those three factors are very unreliable.
With a few exceptions, the White Turks would immediately stand at attention and become a part of the chain of command in the face of a strong anti-fundamentalist wind that could blow in the future. Meanwhile, the international circles would never give continuous support if you do not serve their interests.
Public sympathy is similar to the support given by soccer fans to their teams. Crowds who are now accusing Revivo [an Israeli soccer player], whom they used to view as a hero until very recently, of betraying them, and the masses who support Erdogan share identical emotional characteristics.
Is Erdogan misjudging his popularity among his party's grass roots and their resentment against the Armed Forces?
Let us speak frankly.
Seventy-percent of this nation, who traditionally vote for the right-wing parties, witnessed that extremist attitudes were displayed at both sides during the 28 February process. During that period the Islamists and the anti-fundamentalist camp went to the extremes occasionally.
Subtitle: He is digging his own grave
An overwhelming majority of the right-wing voters, who make up seventy percent of the electorate, are probably angry with the politicians exploiting religion and also resent the Armed Forces' attitudes. Today, half of those seventy-percent voters, which support the JDP, do not approve of Erdogan's reaction to Denktas, because Denktas is still a key figure in the eyes of the JDP's traditional nationalist, pious and conservative grass roots with the exception of some Islamists who have different ethnic sensitivities.
I am afraid that Erdogan is losing touch with his party's grass roots because of his White Turk-inspired advisers and sycophants. Otherwise, he should have seen that attacking Denktas could hardly be tolerated by his party's supporters.
Erdogan's stand on Cyprus is provoking some influential circles within the government and drifting his party's grass roots towards those circles.
This miscalculation could play into the hands of those circles which have secret scenarios.
Let me emphasize for "contradiction hunters" that the fact that I am sharing similar views with those influential circles does not necessarily mean that I approve of their habit of manipulating politics. Similarly, I do not believe that I lose my right to criticize Erdogan simply because I am complaining about passionate attacks against him."